The Best Way to Remove Pee Smells from Your Mattress

published Dec 9, 2021
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If you have kids (or a pet), then you’ve likely experienced your fair share of messes that require nose-plugging and a pair of disposable gloves. But even after you thoroughly clean up bodily fluids, an unpleasant — OK, semi-disgusting — scent can linger much longer than you’d like. Take a mattress, for example. If your kid wets the bed, you can toss the sheets in the laundry and blot out the pee. But what if the urine odor sticks around?

Fortunately, you won’t need any super-fancy cleaning supplies (or even a whole lot of elbow grease) to take care of this all-too-common problem. Here’s how to get pee smell out of your mattress, one step at a time.

How to Get Pee Smell Out of Your Mattress

What You’ll Need

  • Laundry detergent
  • Oxy-Clean or similar oxygen bleach
  • Clean towels
  • Enzyme-based stain remover
  • Scrub brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum with hose attachment or hand vac
  • Hydrogen peroxide


  1. Strip the bed. Remove all the sheets, blankets, and pillows from the bed and toss everything in the laundry. Add a few tablespoons of white vinegar and some Oxy-Clean to the load, along with your normal detergent.
  2. Blot out the urine. With a dry towel, firmly blot the smelly area of the mattress. Be careful not to rub, since agitation only pushes the urine deeper into the mattress. The goal is to soap up as much excess liquid as you can.
  3. Remove the stain. Mix half a teaspoon of enzyme-based stain remover with a cup or so of warm water. Dip a soft brush into the mixture and scrub it to remove the stain. Then, blot the area with a dry towel.
  4. Spray mattress with vinegar and water solution. In a spray bottle, combine equal parts tap water and white vinegar. Spray the solution on the affected part of your mattress. Because the vinegar is acidic, it’ll kill the bacteria in the urine and, as a result, eliminate the smell. Note: If you don’t have vinegar on hand or you’d rather not use it, you can achieve similar results with water and a couple teaspoons of powdered laundry detergent.
  5. Blot the area dry. With a clean towel, blot (don’t rub!) the damp area of the mattress dry.
  6. Apply baking soda to the mattress. The next smell-neutralizing tool in your toolkit is baking soda! Add a hefty later to the affected area of the mattress, then allow it to sit. The longer the baking soda has to absorb the urine scent, the better. Aim for 12 or so hours, if possible.
  7. Vacuum the baking soda. Vacuum up the baking soda — and if the mattress smells clean, you’re done! If the area still smells, move on to step 8.
  8. Apply hydrogen peroxide. If the mattress still smells, or if the pee stain isn’t fresh, you may need a more powerful cleaner. Hydrogen peroxide (ideally, the 3% concentration) works as a gentle disinfectant, which can remove the smell of urine without damaging your mattress. Squirt a bit of hydrogen peroxide on the area that smells, allowing the mattress to fully dry before using it again.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: How to Get Pee Smell Out of Your Mattress